Looking at the skills shortage situation in various employment sectors in the   UK and some reasons why certain sectors are suffering, and what some do about it.

Many employment sectors facing significant recruitment problems long term

In many sectors including construction, nursing, engineering, the caring industries and even banking the UK faces a mounting problem of filling vacancies with people of the right calibre to meet increasing demand. A study by the Open University revealed that 90% of the 400 firms it surveyed faced difficulties recruiting personnel with the necessary skills over the past year.

Many industry sectors affected

It’s widely known the UK has faced a severe shortage in certain sectors such as engineering for many years, but several other sectors are finding it tough to attract the right people.

This run down reveals the more common sectors suffering from lack of suitable people entering them, and some are known skills shortage professions such as teaching, nursing and engineering but there are some surprises such as designers, sales executives and chefs (despite the coverage given to cooking and celebrity chefs in magazines, newspapers and television).

Training and image

Even prestigious name employers trying to attract young talent into an attractive profession such as financial services aren’t immune; investment bank Goldman Sachs find it difficult to attract young people to its apprenticeship scheme. This is partly blamed on school leavers, often influenced by their parents, wanting to study at university rather than taking an apprenticeship route.

Goldman Sachs say they have a hard job persuading parents and school leavers that apprenticeships aren’t a second-class career route. To combat their recruitment issues, the investment bank is offering degree based apprenticeships where recruits divide their time between their university studies and working for the company three days a week.

An image problem besets engineering; for some younger people, it isn’t seen as a dynamic, interesting career path, despite many exciting developments in sectors such as the automotive industry. Engineering UK say that around 1.8 million engineers and technically qualified workers would be needed by 2025; at present, there’s a 20,000 a year shortfall of suitably qualified people.

Demand rises while skill levels fall

Construction is facing a possible chronic skills shortage yet is expected to deliver ambitious government house building targets. Industry analysts say the industry will have to find some 400,000 workers per year to hope to meet the demand for some 1 million new homes by 2020 – with another 500,000 properties pledged for 2022.

How vacancies are being filled

Along with adapting to the situation as Goldman Sachs are doing with their combined university and apprenticeship scheme, many companies turn to industry recruitment specialists familiar with certain employment sectors. For example, employers looking to find suitable candidates for their vacancies in the construction, driving, industrial and recycling and mechanical and electrical trades or residential care sectors could talk to a recruitment consultant specialising in these areas such as ARC recruitment agency in Chelmsford.

Other reasons for skills shortages

The lowest unemployment rate since 2005 is one factor influencing skills shortages so there are fewer people in the job market to fill certain vacancies and, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), those in posts are more reluctant to change jobs due to current uncertainties over Brexit.

By the same token, there appears to be a reduction in the amount of EU migrants applying for jobs in the UK for similar reasons.

The REC also warn that this year has seen job candidate availability at its worst for well over a year with well over 60 different job roles that require filling from basic unskilled work to professions such as accounting. The Office of National Statistics indicate there are typically over 750,000 vacancies throughout the UK.